Wednesday 8th March is International Women’s Day – a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This day marks a call to action for us all to fully #EmbraceEquity.
Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA. We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion. And it’s critical to understand the difference between equity and equality. Whilst equality is the goal, equity is the means to get there. It is through the process of equity, we can reach equality.
This International Women’s Day we want to celebrate the achievements of one of our team, Developer Lisanne Fellinger, and learn what she believes we can do to #EmbraceEquity.
What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
To have created the level of freedom (financial and location-wise) to live the life I like to live. I moved to a foreign country, without a job and completely rebuilt my life exactly how I wanted it.
What advice would you give to young women trying to break into our industry?
Because I don’t have a background in computer science I thought for a long time that I wasn’t as qualified to work as a developer as people with this background. During the first few years of my career, I was constantly afraid I was underperforming and didn’t know enough, even though I was often reassured that my motivation was already half the work and that I was on a great learning curve. So my advice would be, to try not to compare yourself to others and know that if you are motivated and truly love coding or anything else for that matter, there is a lot you can accomplish just by showing your eagerness to learn. Don’t wait until you yourself think you are experienced enough to apply for a certain job. Always apply to anything that seems interesting to you and learn from the feedback if you didn’t make the cut.
Who inspires you and why?
I don’t have some huge public figure that specifically inspires me, I would say it’s mostly my friends and other people around me that inspire me. Everyone has their own ways of approaching things and having built the life that they wanted or are still working to accomplish. I’m inspired by how others deal with uncertainty, becoming financially comfortable, and reaching different levels of freedom (eg. location independence, passive income, etc).
What do you think we can gain from embracing equity?
Equity is necessary for equality, and if not equality right away, at least diversity. Diversity can help everyone think outside the box since different people have different struggles and problem-solving ideas. I’ve been the only woman in a few teams I worked in and I’d like to think that I helped bring in different perspectives and approaches.
Actively embracing equity, as a company, could also make people aware of the biases that women encounter, of which they might not have previously been aware.
Dealing with equity is not always comfortable, for the applying and receiving parties, but to create more equality faster I don’t think we have a choice. And I guess I don’t have to explain why we need equality!
Let’s all step forward and commit to #EmbraceEquity.
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